Have you ever heard of the Dunning Kruger Effect? The Dunning Kruger Effect says something to the effect that, in short, stupid people tend to overestimate their competence and underestimate the competence of others. In effect, incompetent people are incompetent. Because they are incompetent, they do not realize the extent of their own incompetence.
Get it? They are incompetent. Since they are incompetent, they do not - nor cannot - recognize their own incompetence. In fact, these incompetent people are often the ones who over estimate their abilities and often swagger and brag at work as they make a public display of their "skills."
People who are competent, on the other hand, are usually self-reflective and are aware of their own short-comings and make effort to work on those.
Makes sense, right? Wise people are not boisterous. Fools are. There is an old Zen Buddhist saying that goes like this; "Those who don't know, say they do. Those who do know, say they don't." I reckon this shows us that even Buddha understood the Dunning Kruger Effect 4,000 years ago.
Today, I saw a good example of the Dunning Kruger Effect. It made me realize that this principle explains everything that's wrong with Japan's politics and politicians. I was reading Mish Shedlock and he was railing on the G20 for wasting time and money on coming up with an agreement that wasn't an agreement at all. Mish Wrote:
I found an article on News On Japan saying that the Japanese government claims that an agreement was reached at the G20 meeting and that they were pleased with it.
Really? I agree with Mish. From reading other foreign news sites, as well as Mish, besides the headline "spin," I can't see where anyone else really thinks any agreement was reached. Nevertheless, Japan is tooting their own horn at this wonderful deal.
Kyodo News reports:
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda hailed Saturday an agreement by the Group of 20 leading economies on global economic imbalances, saying a broad accord was reached. Referring to an envisioned schedule of drawing up a mutual assessment plan to reduce economic imbalances through November, when the G-20 leaders gather for the summit in France, Noda told a news conference after the two-day ministerial meeting in Paris, "As a start toward November, we had good discussions." He declined to unveil the detail negotiation process on the matter, saying the agreed set of tools is in line with what Tokyo wanted.
Noda also indirectly urged China and other emerging economies to keep working together on forming the mechanism to tackle economic imbalances.
"Since all major countries in the (international) system, including Japan, will certainly be told" what needs to be improved, "we don't have to worry" about their cooperation, he said.
The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed Saturday on a set of indicators including public debt and fiscal deficits, and private savings rate and private debt.
Get that last line? "G20 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed Saturday on a set of indicators including public debt and fiscal deficits..." Oh, really?
This seems like a rerun of an old movie and we know how this ends. Japanese politicians go to international meetings and come back with great pronouncements of great accomplishments, but, ultimately all we really get from these "agreements" is the understanding that our politicians are dimwits. That they are considered by the entire world as a bunch of rich buffoons.
Japanese politicians a are laughing stock. Foreign governments realize they do not need to do anything more than pay lip service to Japan to get good financial help and cooperation. When it comes down to really doing anything, no one has to take Japan seriously.
I mean, why should they? The Japanese public doesn't. They are incompetent. The Dunning Kruger Effect holds true in Japan.... Just like it did when Buddhism first came to Japan.